Farewell to Mrs. Crapo

Derek Lattmann, Campus Ministry Editor

Throughout its history, Delbarton has never abandoned its primary mission – to educate the whole person: mind, body, and spirit. With this mission, Delbarton constantly strives to retain the strongest faculty possible in all departments. From Math, Science, English, History, and Religion, Delbarton has amassed a faculty capable of turning boys into young men, men ready to face the challenges of the world in which social justice and moral stability are seldom represented.

Among its esteemed faculty, Delbarton is grateful for the contributions of Mrs. Patricia Crapo, a religion teacher who has devoted the past twenty-nine years of her life to the very same mission Delbarton School was founded upon: to educate men in the way of the mind, body, and spirit.

As she plans to retire at the end of this academic year, Mrs. Crapo is one of the first faculty members to be dubbed a “Legend of Delbarton”. This hall of fame honor is reserved for teachers who have, over the years, contributed extensive amounts of wisdom to the Delbarton community. With over thirty-five years of teaching experience collectively, Mrs. Crapo certainly brought substantial amounts of wisdom to Delbarton’s classes. She has been instrumental in educating countless students, and we are sad to see that she has decided to hang her cape at the end of this year. With this, the Courier is pleased to release this interview encounter with Mrs. Crapo.

For twenty-nine years, Mrs. Crapo has taught at Delbarton School. With administration, students, and even courses coming and going, Mrs. Crapo has remained true to her own personal mission, “to allow students an introduction and education to the wonders of the Catholic faith and its moral direction in order to better prepare them to be the young men they are called to be.” With this, Mrs. Crapo described her countless memories and experiences during her time at Delbarton School. Initially moving with her husband to northern New Jersey, Mrs. Crapo was excited to find a new school in which she could continue teaching religion. After teaching in a co-ed private school, Mrs. Crapo found herself interviewing with several other schools in this area. Above all, she claimed, “Delbarton stuck out in my search”. After interviewing with the headmaster at the time, Fr. Beatus Lucey, Mrs. Crapo distinctly remembered the monk describing Delbarton boys as “young men who are prepared to be future leaders of the world”. After her first encounter with the headmaster and the dean of faculty, Mrs. Crapo was confident that Delbarton was the place where she wanted to teach. After being offered a job, she gladly accepted and was soon preparing for her first year.

While she remembered her first day quite vividly, Mrs. Crapo specifically mentioned her first encounter with the students at Delbarton. Up until the first day of school, she had never met any of the students and was finally glad when the opportunity arose to finally introduce herself to her classes. Remembering them as polite, energetic, and passionate young men, Mrs. Crapo was inspired to continue teaching religion at Delbarton for many more years after. With many special moments to remember, Mrs. Crapo’s primary mission was to encourage her students to listen to God and obey His commands. She is convinced that “God calls these young men every day, and it’s my wish to simply get them to listen to what He’s got to say,” she said. Recalling that “many of [her] students knew a lot about the Church, but so little about their individual faith,” Mrs. Crapo recognized her personal calling to introduce the practices of the Catholic faith to her students.

When asked what she would recommend to teachers who are beginning to teach at Delbarton, Mrs. Crapo gave this simple, yet insightful, answer–“Be a part of their lives,” she recommended. “Don’t be a passing figure in the hallway. Get to know them so that they can get to know you. Go to their sports games, theater productions, or any other event where they achieve the high standard that Delbarton demands.” Mrs. Crapo, a life-long learner and educator, discerned that the secret to teaching was involvement and dedication. Her philosophy remains that a teacher is more than an instructor. A teacher is an educator, academic, and mentor.

At the end of her interview, Mrs. Crapo notably quoted one of St. Augustine’s most famous lines, “You have made us for yourself, oh Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” By this, Mrs. Crapo recalled all that she learned over her twenty-nine years at Delbarton. Throughout the years, Mrs. Crapo has dutifully served Delbarton through her wisdom, gentleness, and kindness. By her example, she has shown Delbarton how to be a true Catholic and Benedictine institution. After 29 years of service to this school and its community, the Courier would like to salute Mrs. Crapo, thank her for all her good work, and wish her well in her future endeavors.